The benefits of having a dog are clear to anyone who’s ever seen a happy stroller walking their pup on a beautiful spring day. Still, though there are plenty of benefits of bringing a dog into your world, it’s not as if it’s always a literal walk in the park. There are challenges and obstacles, just as there are with everything that’s valuable.
So first and foremost, it’s important to check that you’re in a position where you can genuinely assume all the responsibilities that go with having your own dog. Many people jump in too early and come to regret their decision.
But let’s assume that you are ready to take on a dog. In that case, it’s important to avoid the common mistakes that many new dog owners make. In this blog, we’ll run through some of the errors we see time and time again.
Working with the Wrong Trainer
You’ll need to work with a dog trainer to get your dog up to speed on how to act in the human world. But here’s the thing: not all dog trainers are created equal. It’s tempting to book appointments with the first trainer you come across, or, even worse, the cheapest one that you can find. It’s important to remember that quality can vary just as quality can vary in every other profession. Take the time to find a trainer that really knows what they’re talking about and who can get results. Referrals and reviews are good places to look.
Serving Any Type of Food
A human couldn’t expect to be at their healthiest best if they were eating low-quality food with minimal nutritional value. And the same can be said of your dog. If you’re buying the cheapest dog food that you can find, then it’s unlikely that they’ll be at their best, both physically and mentally. On the other hand, if you serve them quality food, such as lamb grain free dog food, then you’ll have peace of mind that they’ll have everything they need to be healthy and happy. Plus, they’ll just enjoy eating delicious food, as all of us do!
Ignoring the Socialization Process
You’ll be eager to spend all of your time with your new pup when they come to your home. But remember that it’s much easier for dogs to learn how to get along with other dogs if the process begins early. As such, it’s important to set time aside for them to play with their own kind. With some dogs, this can be a tricky process — some dogs, like some humans, are just not all that social and may lash out. But if you work on it early on, then you can correct the behavior before it becomes a bigger part of their personality.
Applying too many Rules
You will, of course, need to set some rules for your new dog. They can’t be allowed to do whatever they want! However, sometimes, it’s possible to go too far in the other direction. If you’re setting too many rules for your dog, then you’ll suck all the life out of existence. They need to have some freedom to be their true dog self, and this might require a bit of compromise on your behalf. For example, you may let them on the couch to snuggle up to you, rather than insisting they stay on the floor.
Failing to Assert Dominance
It’s easy to fall head over heels in love with a dog. But remember that you should always be at the top of the chain of command. This may happen all on its own, but if you’re someone who can easily get swept up by puppy eyes, then you’ll need to actively work on asserting your dominance. This happens frequently with certain breeds of dogs. If they try to assert dominance, then just ignore the dog — they’ll come to you when they need something, which will put you at the top of the chain.
Ignoring Essential Grooming
Your dog may look beautiful right now, but that won’t last forever unless you invest in some grooming. We all need a little TLC from time to time! It doesn’t take much time to ensure that your dog is well-groomed, but it’s important to do so. Remember that some aspects of dog grooming, such as cutting nails or cutting hair, can be problematic for new dog owners. For those tasks, it’s best to let a professional handle them or really make sure you know what you’re doing.